Initiative 1366 is Tim Eyman’s 2015 initiative campaign to protect the wealthy and corporations in Washington State. It is both an appeal to greed and a guaranteed way to prevent reforming Washington State’s regressive tax system.
Initiative 1366 is an extortion style measure designed to fulfill an Eyman dream – to force the Washington State Legislature to place a constitutional amendment before the voters to allow a minority of one third of the Legislators in one house of the Legislature to prevent raising any new revenue or repealing any tax exemptions.
The Washington State Supreme Court ruled in 2013 that requiring a 2/3 vote of Legislators to enact tax increases or repeal tax exemptions as was passed by voters by initiative was unconstitutional. As noted in the Tacoma News Tribune at the time:
“In a landmark ruling 20 years in the making, the Washington State Supreme Court this morning struck down Initiative 1053 as unconstitutional. The court majority said the constitution controls the majority needed for tax hikes and the constitution requires only a majority of the members of the House and Senate.
That means the only way for backers of the so-called super-majority for tax hikes can achieve that goal is to go through the more-burdensome method of amending the constitution which itself requires a two-thirds vote of both houses and then a majority vote of the people.”
Unfortunately for Eyman in an ironic twist, under the Washington State Constitution requiring a 2/3 vote by the Legislature to propose a constitutional amendment, Eyman is unable to muster a 2/3 vote. So Eyman is trying to force the Legislature to act. He is using extortion tactics reminiscent of Senator Ted Cruz.
The Washington State Supreme Court in it’s McCleary decision said the state was shirking its constitutional responsibility by not adequately funding public education. Eyman’s I-1366, rather than moving the state forward, proposes to blow a big hole in the ability of the state to perform it’s constitutional responsibilities.
I-1366 proposes to cut the state sales tax from 6.5% to 5.5% decreasing state revenues by $1 billion per year unless the Legislators comply with Eyman’s demands. and put a constitutional amendment on the ballot.
Besides this immediate impact if voters approve I-1366 and don’t act on Eyman’s demand for a 2/3 vote on a 2/3 constitutional amendment, a 2/3 vote requirement in the Constitution would permanently change the way the Legislature functions by turning revenue decisions over to a minority 1/3 faction of the legislature to overturn any decision by a majority vote to raise revenue or repeal tax loopholes. In a bizarre twist it would allow a majority vote to enact or extend tax exemptions but require a 2/3 vote to repeal them.
Tim Eyman is busy collecting signatures by paid canvassers to place Initiative 1366 on the November 6, 2015 ballot. He has until July 2, 2015 to collect a minimum of 246,372 valid signatures.
Initiative Measure No. 1366 concerns state taxes and fees.
This measure would decrease the sales tax rate unless the legislature refers to voters a constitutional amendment requiring two-thirds legislative approval or voter approval to raise taxes, and legislative approval for fee increases.
Should this measure be enacted into law? Yes [ ] No [ ]
Ballot Measure Summary
This measure would decrease the state retail sales tax rate on April 15, 2016, from 6.5 percent to 5.5 percent. The sales tax rate would not be decreased if, by April 15, 2016, two-thirds of both legislative houses refer to the ballot a vote on a constitutional amendment that requires two-thirds legislative approval or voter approval to raise taxes, and majority legislative approval to set the amount of a fee increase.
Do not sign I-1366 and if it gets on the Nov. 6th ballot Vote NO. Don’t turn our Legislature over to special interests, the wealthy and Big Corporations.
See also No on 1366 website